My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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LONDON, Sunday—It was good news that the United Kingdom, in response to the United Nations resolution, was putting its fleet and air force under General MacArthur in an effort to preserve a peaceful world.

I was asked the other day for my opinion on the use of atomic bombs in the present crisis. I have always hoped that neither the atom nor hydrogen bomb would ever be used against any people, and I have also hoped we might reach an agreement whereby atomic energy would be used for peaceful purposes under proper international inspection with knowledge of these uses available to all people. When war breaks out, however, no one can know what people will do, and that is why it is so important to bring disturbances such as those in Korea to as rapid an end as possible and to increase the respect for the United Nations by a knowledge throughout the world that there will always be a unity of action within the United Nations against any aggressor who tries to break the peace of the world.

We went out as a family yesterday to Windsor Castle, visited St. George's Chapel and the wonderful library and had lunch with Lord and Lady Gowrie. Whenever I see them I think of how kind they were to me in Australia when I was there in the summer of 1943, and they are always equally hospitable when I come over here. The Norman tower in which Lord and Lady Gowrie live makes one of the most fascinating houses I have ever seen. There are many stairs and many levels leading to the different rooms, but each room has a different view and is built in an intriguing shape. I never before really appreciated the garden, which grows in what was once the old moat and climbs up the wall to make the most beautiful bank of green interspersed with flowers.

Each time I go to the library at Windsor I see some new treasures and feel richer for having had the opportunity to enjoy some of the things which have been collected through so many centuries. Charles the First must have been an interesting man. On exhibition is a most beautiful linen shirt which he wore the day of his execution. Tradition has it that he asked the jailer to permit him to wear two shirts that day because it was a cold day and he did not want to shiver on his way to his death, which he apparently felt he must accept with complete calm and no outward show of fear.

On the way back to London we stopped for a brief moment at Eton just to look at the buildings, and I was impressed by the oldest classroom. It must be very dark in winter, but certainly no boy can fail to feel how many generations before him have acquired knowledge and tradition in these halls. The beams were made from the beams of the ships that were used at the time the Spanish Armada was defeated. I saw some boys playing cricket as we left, and thought of the many young men who have gone through the world from the masters in the Eton classroom and from the Eton playing fields.

Before driving into London I stopped at a factory where Marshall Plan funds have been used in the purchase of several machines. This seems an extremely busy place, working on what we would call American production lines.

Miss Thompson, the Dowager Marchioness of Reading and I dined with some of the women members of Parliament who are taking an active part in the government of their country.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • London (England, United Kingdom) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, July 3, 1950

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

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Digital edition published 2008, 2017 by
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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.